Get Ready... Be Prepared for Winter!

Forecasters are again predicting a long winter ahead so it’s time to prepare for the worst! Caledonia staff across all areas have made arrangements for our grit bins to be topped up. We have also purchased additional stocks of grit should we need to refill the bins over the coming months. Whilst we don’t have the capacity to grit all paths at each scheme we hope that there is sufficient supplies for use by tenants and visitors to reduce the risks bad weather brings.

Here are some practical suggestions to help prepare for the months ahead:
To avoid having to leave your home in bad weather, freeze extra supplies of bread, and semi-skimmed milk – just remember to shake the milk well after defrosting before use, or keep a couple of long life bottles in the cupboard.Avoid draughts in the home by keeping doors and windows closed. Closing curtains at night helps reduce heat loss considerably.Be prepared for power cuts: Check batteries in torches and radios. Be aware that cordless telephones WILL NOT work during a power failure. Make sure you have wellies, torches or battery lights handy. Stock up supplies of UHT milk, tins of food and bread mixes.If you live at a sheltered scheme we have out of hours procedures to provide assistance to residents in the event of an extensive power failure.In some schemes we have installed a gas supply hob in the communal kitchen where residents can heat water to fill a flask, cook basic meals or warm up soup.

There are some simple steps to take to help prevent your pipes from freezing:

  • Leave the central heating on for short periods of time throughout the day.
  • Let warm air into your roof space by keeping the trap door open.
  • Keep the cupboard door under the sink open, this will let warm air move around the pipes.
  • Keep room doors slightly open to allow warm air to move around the house.
  • Know where your stopcock is so that you can switch off your water if there is a burst. Most frozen pipes occur in the roof space and below sink units and can cause considerable damage if they burst.
  • Ensure that you have insurance for your contents and personal belongings.

Turn off the mains water supply immediately by turning the stopcock clockwise. This will stop any more water getting into the water pipes. If the burst pipe is on the main water system the rush of water will stop after a short while. If the rush of water does not stop or there is still a constant run of water, the problem is probably on the cold water storage system. You will need to drain down the cold water storage tank which is usually located in the roof space. You should immediately contact our Customer Services Team in the event of a burst pipe within office ours only, or call our out of hours number in an emergency.

Thaw it out slowly by using hot water bottles or towels soaked in warm water. Do not use direct heat such as blowtorches as this may cause permanent damage to the pipes. The use of blowtorches could also lead to a fire in the home. If in any doubt please contact our Customer Services Team to report the fault.


  • If you are likely to be away for a short period please leave your heating on.
  • If you are likely to be away for a long period, your house will be safer if you drain down the water pipes and switch off your heating and water. Please contact a reputable plumber or your Maintenance Officer if you require advice about this.
  • Ask a friend or neighbour to check the house and leave a spare key.

Be aware that snow or ice could fall from roofs suddenly. Be prepared and predict where it might fall and don’t park your car, bikes or garden furniture in its path.